The 10 Best Garden Tool Sets
This wiki has been updated 25 times since it was first published in April of 2016. You could hire a landscaper for all your outdoor planting needs, but where’s the fun in that? For those who possess green thumbs, part of the pleasure is getting your hands dirty. Our selection of tool sets includes options equipped with the most commonly used gear along with more comprehensive kits for accomplished horticulturists. Most come with a handy storage and tote bag, too. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
March 25, 2021:
Generally speaking, the rate of innovation we see in hand tools from year to year is quite slow (compared to the fast-moving power-tool sector, anyway), so it shouldn’t come as a surprise that there wasn’t a lot of movement in this category since the last time we updated this list. The only major changes we made were removing the Lanbozita Kit, which wasn’t available at the time of this writing, and replacing the Tacklife GGT4A with its logical successor: the Tacklife GGT5A.
Compared to the GGT4A, the GGT5A is actually slightly lighter in tools, including one less trowel than our former choice. But, considering that the previous set included a virtually identical trowel, anyway, and factoring in that the new set includes a gardening apron, plus a seeder, twist ties and plant tags to help you get started, we thought it only made sense to favor the GGT5A. Its black-and-orange aesthetic is likely to appeal to masculine gardeners who aren’t particularly taken by the earth tones and floral prints frequently found elsewhere in this category.
We also added the Yodo Heavy Duty to our list, even though it comes with fewer implements than the average set, because we liked that it came with its own garden stool. What’s especially nice is the way its tool organizer clips to said stool, and has a roomy main compartment to stash your growing essentials, so you can feasibly pick up everything you need to get to work with one hand (or at least free up your second hand to carry something else).
We did our best to rank sets that included comprehensive storage solutions for their tools (the GardenHome All-in-One, which holds a spot near the bottom of our list, is one notable exception), but if you do windup settling on a kit that doesn’t include a serviceable case or bag of some kind, then you might be interested in checking out our list of garden organizers.
February 28, 2020:
This list underwent an extensive overhaul, as availability issues and performance concerns led us to remove the bulk of the items. Of the remaining options, we noted the Lanbozita Kit as the best value; it contains several high-quality tools, exceptional gloves and a carrying bag with a plethora of exterior pockets.
Since we had to eliminate the Bo-Toys Set, it seemed only fitting that we replace it with another child-oriented option in the G & F JustForKids. It’s a highly affordable way to involve the youngers in your gardening hobby, and the tools are actually quite durable for being labelled as “toys.”
Some unconventional but useful components worth noting: the kneeling mat and bamboo gloves that come with the Sleek Garden Pro; the mini seeder device of the Aokiwo Green; and the useful spray bottle that comes with the Abco Tech Sport.
HeathSong Grow With Me Sized specifically for children, the leaf rake, soil rake, hoe and shovel contained in this kit have adjustable shafts that can easily be extended as the kids grow taller. They’re brightly colored, with soft handles that feature hooks on the end for hanging up in the garage or shed after a day’s work. hearthsong.com
Cate’s Garden Hand Set The elegantly crafted ash handles give this kit a classic, rustic look. The transplanting tool has a narrow design that allows you to meticulously wedge it into tight spaces, which is useful for moving plants that require a delicate touch. Each tool includes a removable leather strap for storage. catesgarden.com
Flaghouse Easi-Grip Gardening can be laborious for anyone, but those with physical ailments like arthritis or carpal tunnel syndrome face an even greater challenge. These tools are designed with innovative handles that create a more natural grip, which can help prevent pain and fatigue in the hand and wrist. flaghouse.com
Getting Your Hands Dirty
This usually includes a trowel, transplanter, and cultivator.
There are some truly rewarding benefits to gardening. You're outside in the sunshine, getting fresh air, and feeling the sensory experience of your hands in the dirt. It helps you stay limber, provides low-impact exercise, and relieves stress — not to mention, it keeps your kitchen stocked with wholesome fruits, herbs, and veggies. If you're looking to pick up a new hobby, get the kids off their phones or level up from potting houseplants, there's a gardening tool set out there for you.
True beginners looking to dabble without making a large investment will get plenty of mileage out of a kit that has all the basic tools. This usually includes a trowel, transplanter, and cultivator. These instruments will help you dig holes for planting, aerate soil, remove weeds, mix fertilizer, and much more. While having these utensils in your arsenal is sufficient enough to get you started, you’ll most likely want a set that includes a pair of tough, cut-resistant gloves and a protective apron to guard your hands and clothes.
If you like to exercise your green thumb now and again, you might find kits with a few extra supplements to be of interest. Once you get into the habit of spending a significant amount of time crouching down to ground level, you'll realize a sturdy stool or kneeling pad will do a world of good. As soon as your activities start to yield full-grown results, pruning shears are indispensable for keeping plants healthy by removing dead leaves and other components that may sap their energy. As you tend to your thriving greenery, a spray bottle often comes in handy for misting thirsty foliage and applying insecticides, while a measuring tape is excellent for keeping flower beds neat and organized.
One way to ensure your children will want to join in the fun is to nab something for them, as well. A sweet set crafted from colorful, kid-friendly materials that matches yours will encourage your little helper to spend valuable time outdoors with you, soaking up the sun and learning about nature. And who knows? He may even become more adventurous at the dinner table once he takes a bite out of that juicy tomato he helped you grow.
What Makes A Gardening Set Great?
To ensure that you get the most out of your set, you'll want it to have certain features. One of the first things to consider is whether your tools are made from heavy-duty materials. Rust-resistant aluminum and stainless steel are less likely to corrode with hard use, with the added benefit that they're exceptionally durable, so they're bound to last and won't bend in hard-packed soil. For the handles, look for non-slip, ergonomic options using either soft-grip rubber coating or sealed wood — whatever best suits your personal preferences and feels at home in your hands.
They can be everything from super stylish to ultra-tough, with plenty of compartments for your tools and extra pockets for seeds, plus looped handles for easy transport.
Kits that come with storage caddies can take your organization to the next level. They can be everything from super stylish to ultra-tough, with plenty of compartments for your tools and extra pockets for seeds, plus looped handles for easy transport. In order to withstand hours of exposure to moist earth and harsh sunlight, they're usually crafted from all-weather canvas reinforced with a stainless steel frame or a plastic bucket, and double stitched so they won't fall apart at the seams. There are also long-lasting hard shell varieties and even some handy totes that convert into folding chairs.
And although it shouldn't be your main priority, plenty of sets are designed with style in mind. Some aesthetic choices actually serve a functional purpose, as well, such as vibrantly-colored options in orange, teal, pink or purple, which are highly visible and therefore harder to lose track of. There are gender-neutral selections that make an excellent addition to any gardening household, and even floral-printed kits that will appeal to the trendy horticulturist.
The Glorious Gardens Of Yore
Ancient people began barricading outdoor spaces in order to protect precious vegetation from animals and thieves as early as 10000 B.C.E., the earliest gardens having been constructed in Asia before eventually spreading westward into Europe. It didn't take long for these primitive enclosures to evolve from practical food sources to expressions of art and displays of immense wealth. Throughout history, talented humans have conceived truly spectacular gardens in various cultures around the world.
These landscapes provided ample space for the elite to frolic and plot, as Roman royalty was wont to do.
There’s something romantic about strolling through a vast, elaborate garden, and no one knew this better than the wealthy men and women of Rome. They created expansive estates rife with baths, pools, grottos, and fountains, with shaded arcades and lanes peppered with ornate statues, roses, and topiaries. These landscapes provided ample space for the elite to frolic and plot, as Roman royalty was wont to do. One such lavish retreat is the Villa Adriana, built in Tivoli, Italy, as a getaway for emperor Hadrian. Much of it still stands today, and the site is a major tourist destination.
Then there are the fabled Hanging Gardens of Babylon, located in modern-day Iraq and classified as one of The Seven Wonders of the ancient world. Though their existence has never been supported with hard evidence, several authorities throughout history allude to them, including the writer Diodorus Siculus and the Greek geographer Strabo. Age-old texts describe an otherworldly feat of innovation, with tiered stone terraces that stood 20 meters high, created in the image of the verdant and mountainous homeland of the wife of King Nebuchadnezzar II. While there are conflicting accounts as to whether or not this paradise was real, there is actual proof of similarly-constructed gardens in ancient Mesopotamia.
The Imperial Gardens at The Old Summer Palace in Beijing, China, consisted of three lavish sites that covered 860 acres. Construction began in the early 1700s and would continue for decades, as Chinese emperors expanded the grounds with seemingly endless waterworks, hills, trees and even ninety types of peonies. Sadly, it was all destroyed by Anglo-French forces during the Second Opium War.